About Us

The Wisconsin National Primate Research Center (WNPRC) is part of the National Primate Research Centers program funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1961.

The WNPRC advances scientific collaboration and discovery, education and training. We provide compassionate and expert animal care while contributing to improving human and animal health and quality of life from early development through aging.

Nearly all medical advances have depended on research with animals. Research with nonhuman primates often serves as a critical link between basic science and safe human clinical application. WNPRC scientists achieved the world’s first in vitro-fertilized rhesus monkey in the 1980s and its first pluripotent stem cells in the 1990s. Our primarily NIH-funded research has helped advance therapies for people with HIV, COVID-19, kidney disease, glaucoma, developmental disorders, autoimmune diseases, mental illness, polycystic ovary syndrome, infections that threaten healthy pregnancies, and much more. Read more about our world-changing discoveries here.

The WNPRC’s mission is to increase our understanding of basic primate biology and to improve human and animal health and quality of life through research.

To accomplish this, WNPRC scientists and staff:

  • Help discover treatments, preventions and cures for human disease.
  • Generate new knowledge of primate biology, from the molecular and whole animal levels to the understanding of primate ecosystems.
  • Facilitate research progress by providing expertise, resources and training to scientists worldwide.
  • Disseminate information about the center to the research community and the public.

The WNPRC is based in the UW–Madison Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. The center has strong research and teaching links to the UW-Madison Schools or Colleges of Medicine and Public Health, Letters and Science, Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine. As we are part of the campus community, please also visit our Equity and Diversity Resources web page.

The WNPRC is AAALAC accredited and its policies adhere to the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

Our center has approximately 1,500 monkeys. In Fall 2023, this included about 1,020 rhesus macaques, 200 cynomolgus macaques and 270 common marmosets. The center employs close to 200 scientific staff, research and animal services staff, administrative and operations staff, and UW–Madison veterinary, post-doc, graduate, undergraduate and research trainees. The center also serves hundreds of collaborating scientists from around the world who publish their work in peer-reviewed journals.

The WNPRC offers outreach programs for schools and the public. We are also proud to host Primate Info Net, an international resource in primatology.

Programs of the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center (WNPRC) are supported by Award Number P51OD011106 from the National Institutes of Health, Office of the Director, Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP). In addition, the WNPRC has received ORIP support for construction and renovation with the following awards: C06RR020141 (2004), G20RR022780 (2007), G20RR023956 (2008), G20RR025851 (2009), C06RR032709 (2011), C06OD028387 (2019), and C06OD030078 (2020).

ORIP Nonhuman Primate Resources Fact Sheet 2021

ORIP Strategic Plan for 2021-2025